They’re not sexy. You can’t see them on the beach. Most people don’t know their names. But when properly trained, they can dramatically reduce the risk of spinal pain and injuries.
They’re your core muscles – those small muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen that glue you together. Strong core muscles provide better stability and balance to support any physical activity, from playing competitive sports to picking up a baby to sitting at a desk.
For a sports chiropractor like me, the primary focus of chiropractic care is not just to relieve pain, but to help you prevent spinal injuries and degeneration that can cause debilitating chronic pain. In addition to hands-on treatment, much time is spent teaching good posture, proper sitting position, proper sleeping position, and microbreak exercises that you can do throughout the day to strengthen your core.
The second floor of Natural Healthcare Center is home to our physical therapy and occupational therapy services. One of the core functions of this space, no pun intended, is to show patients how to train and stabilize their core so they can continue these exercises and activities long after they’ve completed a therapy program.
The third floor of Natural Healthcare Center was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. We made the necessary structural repairs, but the entire floor has gone unused since 2012. That won’t be the case for much longer.
In the coming weeks, look for an announcement about Natural Healthcare Center’s new human performance studio on the third floor. This new layer of the center, literally and figuratively, has been under construction for about eight months.
Unlike a traditional fitness center, our human performance studio is designed to do exactly that – optimize the performance of the human body. Again, a core function of this space will be to properly train, strengthen, and stabilize the core.
We as a society need to stop looking at photos of guys on the beach who are jacked and women with 2 percent body fat. This is an illusion. It’s designed to sell you something, not help you improve your health.
Before you sign up for a discount gym membership and start pounding those beach muscles, you need to understand why properly trained core muscles are essential to a healthy body. You need to understand that planks and deadlifts aren’t right for everyone and can be dangerous for some people.
There are very specific exercises and movements that can strengthen each of your core muscles, not just the ones that are indirectly engaged through exercises that strengthen other parts of the body. This is critical to stabilizing the spine and preventing injury. If you’re an athlete, there are many sport-specific core training exercises that can help you perform better and maximize results.
Last I checked, there was no such thing as spine replacement surgery. You might be able to replace your knees, hips, and shoulders, but you only get one spine in your lifetime. Take care of it.
If you’d like to learn more about core training and stabilization, whether for high-performance athletics or everyday activities, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation at Natural Healthcare Center.